PO Box 2659
Madison, WI 53703
Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking
Environmental Health Survey of Local Health Departments
In April 2008, the Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking (WI EPHT) program conducted a survey of local health departments (LHD) to gather information about their environmental health data capacity and data needs. It focused on environmental contaminants and health effects rather than infectious diseases.
The survey was distributed to LHD Officers and the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards-Environmental Health group. The survey requested that at least one person from a LHD complete the survey. Forty seven survey responses were received that represented 51 LHD and 39 counties.
The survey helped WI EPHT assess these items in the LHD environmental health program:
Respondents were simply asked to type their responses into a free form field. If a respondent chose to not type anything into the field, this was recorded as a non-response. Also, because the respondent filled in a free form, the answers were not uniform. The results below give the most popular items suggested under each of the topics asked in order to summarize the responses.
The WI EPHT program is using these data to prioritize future topic areas for the public and secure portals. The input was valuable and will help reinforce the data requests WI EPHT negotiates with its partners. There were a number of suggestions for data at the health department level, not just county level. Currently the program is able to meet this request for childhood lead poisoning data. The WI EPHT will continue work to make this possible for additional topic areas. In addition, the responses provided will assist in our risk communication of the information to the general public, e.g., interpretation of how exposure affects a person's health, or policy and procedures for taking action.
Whenever appropriate, the WI EPHT program has shared the results with other programs within and outside of the Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health. In this way, the information collected can be used to inform their activities. Additionally, the responses will be used to guide the selection of topic areas that are addressed in local, regional and statewide conferences.
August 21, 2014